The Raven's Call

Raven Homeschool

November 2018 Edition

Dear Raven Families,

Welcome to Raven's Call, your digital newsletter to keep you up to date on all things Raven. This monthly newsletter via SMORE will have an overview of highlights from each of our 6 Raven offices. Within this electronic version​ of our newsletter,​ you have easy-access to your local office news and resources by clicking on links within each section.

​We are looking forward to another successful year and hope you will share​ pictures of your learning adventures with your local offices to be included throughout the year.

If you would like a printed copy, please contact your local office.

If you have questions, please contact Maegan

- Raven Homeschool

Words from our Superintendent:

Dear Raven School Families,

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Alaska Department of Education developed a strategy through the System of School Support for closing the state’s achievement gaps by providing school designations for Alaska’s schools. There are three types of school designations: Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), and Universal Support. The primary purpose of these school designations is to provide information for families, tribes, communities, educators, and policy makers to plan and support an equitable education for each student in Alaska’s public school system.

Raven School has traditionally outperformed the state on high stakes testing. I credit this success to the wonderful support of our parents teaching their children and meeting the needs as they know best.

Through comparison of data from 2016/2017 and 2017/2018, Raven has been designated as needing Comprehensive Support (Graduation Rate). Raven's School Success Report is attached or you can access the details at the DEED website:

The 2018-2019 school year will be the first time the System for School Success is used to help schools and districts measure their performance on key indicators, identify areas for improvement, and target resources and support for all students to receive an excellent education and be prepared for college or a career after high school.

Raven does excellent work and we enroll every high school student we can to offer them a stellar experience. In the future, we will continue to review our systems and will work to increase our graduation success rate. We will continue our conversations with parents informally and formally through the Parent Advisory Committee meetings hosted every month at every office.

I have graduated one son through Raven and I have another high school son enrolled. I know first-hand that Raven is a wonderful homeschool program with dedicated parent advisory teachers, support staff, administration, and a Regional School Board who values parents as students’ primary teacher.

Thank you for your continued support.


Kerry Boyd


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Student Recognition:

Michael Fischer - Anchorage office

Michael is a 12th-grader who has shown perseverance, dedication to his education, as well as to his extra-curricular activities, and is earning all A's in his Acellus classes and has a 3.24 GPA. He maintains a positive attitude and has overcome personal challenges. Michael has been enrolled with Raven for four years.

Morgan Bickford - Delta Office

Morgan has an older and a younger brother, and her mom is expecting.

As first graders go, she is a fabulous reader. She is also a big help to her family.

Morgan loves doing scientific experiments. She wants to be a scientist. This year she is doing Physical science with Exploration Education. The included photo is her first project.

Eowyn Davidson - Eagle River office

According to her mom, Eowyn is a "Read-ahololic" who is not only an active participant in our Battle of the Books for the 5th/6th grade group, but she's also involved in a literature program through UAA. She's taking an advanced Anatomy & Physiology course, and hopes to one day become a doctor in the military. Physically, she dances and swims 4-5 days per week in preparation for competing in the future. She goes on almost every field trip, and is active in our Geography Club, ARTiculate, Science Workshops, as well as both the local Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. Eowyn has been enrolled for two years.

Aurora & Amelia Knavel - Fairbanks Office

In August, Aurora (4th grade) and Amelia Knavel (9th grade) went to Anchorage with their coach Debby Cook for a U.S. Figure Skating Association test session. Aurora passed both her pre preliminary moves in the field and free skate. Amelia passed her pre juvenile moves in the field. Both student have been with Raven Homeschool Fairbanks for the last 5 years and are excelling while taking multiple AP classes, learning French and the Culinary Arts.

Madison Abel - Fairbanks Office

The Junior High School National Finals Rodeo was in Huron, SD at the end of June this year. Madison was one of two students who represented Alaska, both are homeschooled. She qualified by placing first in barrels and poles and third in goat tying in the state. She competed in barrels and poles. The logistics of our rodeo season, distance and the difficulty Alaskan horses have adapting to the climate and altitude change in the short amount of time make leasing a horse the better choice for everyone involved. This requires the student to adapt everything they've learned and apply it to a new horse plus learn how the new horse works in a matter of days or sometimes hours. Rodeo is the only sport where your equipment weighs 1200lbs and has a mind of its own. Madison rode BB one time doing slow work before they competed the first time. They knocked down 2 poles and got a 10 second penalty but they ran 10 seconds faster than Madi had ever run in Alaska. That was huge! It was an adventure to meet kids from all over the United States, Australia and Mexico. Madi was a student Delegate for Alaska so she also attended the student meetings and voted for the National Junior High student representatives. She also carried the Alaska flag during the parade of states. The Alaska High School Rodeo Association includes Jr High students because altogether we are a small organization of about 15 students.

James Zuiderduin - Juneau Office

James stands out for his dedication to community service, politeness, and leadership. From our first meeting, a year ago, James expressed his interest in civics. Over the summer of his eighth grade year, he attended the Patriot Academy, a political bootcamp for students, teaching political skills & the founding fathers' philosophy of government. To provide practical experience, James worked with his high school counselor, Ryan Tilbury, to obtain a position as a volunteer with Senator Tammie Wilson. Ryan praises James as a, "very conscientious, polite and professional young man. He is very civic minded and has a strong work ethic." In addition, James volunteers weekly for Capitol City Fire and Rescue as well as the AWANNA program at Auke Bay Bible Church, which is not even his own home church.

Most recently, James completed an Emergency Trauma Technician Certification class through CCFR. During this semester, he is stretching himself even further as he applied and was accepted to attend the EXCEL Welding Session. As his Advisory Teacher, I take great joy working with James. He takes the initiative to ask for help when needed, speaks with kindness and respect and puts everyone at ease with his cheerful smile and good humor. He is most deserving of this student recognition for his outstanding character and selfless service to others.

Kaylin Hood - Wasilla Office

Kaylin Hood has been enrolled with Raven since her Kindergarten year. She is a solid student and enjoys many activities. Kaylin is an integral part of the Wasilla 4H Club. She attends every meeting and helps teach her peers on occasion.

Last year she entered and showed her chickens, taking away awards. This year she showed poultry, goats, and swine. Kaylin's hen won grand champion. She sold her pigs for $5.50 a pound in the auction. She works hard and is cheerful. On top of this, she is doing well in her academics focusing on her core classes and learning Spanish.

Counselor's Corner:

High School:

As October comes to an end, here are some of the upcoming events and important dates we would like to highlight.

FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2019-20 academic year opened on October 1st! Students who have questions regarding the FAFSA, financial aid, scholarships, and grants can access to find answers and review helpful resource videos.

Application Day at UAA Campus: UAA is hosting an application day on UAA campus on Friday, December 7th from 4:30-8:00 PM! This event will be held in the Rasmuson Hall and is completely free. Students can come meet admissions counselors and get help with their application. Any students who apply at this event will have their application fee waived.

Previous Events:

Red Ribbon Week!

- What You Need To Know About Drugs

- Dealing With Peer Pressure

Upcoming Events:

November Events in Anchorage

- Midtown- Job Center Tour w/Randi

  • Thursday, November 8th at 9:30am

November Events in Wasilla

- Job Center Tour w/Randi “Employability Skills 101 with Joe”

  • Wednesday, November 14th at 2:00pm

- Parent Workshop Internet Safety w/ Randi

  • Wednesday, November, 28th at 3:00pm

November Events in Eagle River

- Interview Skills Workshop w/ Randi

  • Tuesday, November 6th, at 1:00pm

- Midtown- Job Center Tour w/Randi

  • In Anchorage: Thursday, November 8th at 9:30am

- I Know I Can

  • Friday, November 30th, at 2:00pm


Welcome Class of 2019 UA Scholars

Raven is honored to nominate the following students to join the UA Scholars program for your office. These students have been recognized for being in the top percent of all graduating seniors for their high school.

  • Jessica Clark
  • Piper Rasmussen
  • Kendall Ruble
  • Austin Knull
  • Christiana Blackledge
  • Sabrina White
  • Alyona Savonin

These students will be the 21st class of UA Scholars to join 9,000 ahead of you who accepted the UA Scholars Award, attended the University of Alaska, and who are now shaping Alaska’s future. Congratulations!

If you are interested in attending the President's Recognition Events, please visit the link HERE to view the schedule and locations.


1. You need a study break and filling out a scholarship application is a good diversion.

2. You have studied many long hours to get good grades.

3. Scholarships are investments in our future—YOU!

4. Not all scholarships are based on need, some are based on academic or personal achievements.

5. Scholarships are a great way to pay for school—it is funding that you don’t have to pay back!

6. You are unique in all that you do and it is about time that you tell someone else about it.

7. Asking for letters of recommendation gives you a chance to connect with your Advisory Teacher and/or academic counselor.

8. There are many scholarships that were set up with exactly you and your talents in mind.

9. Writing an essay about yourself may not be an easy talk, but good practice for writing cover letters, resumes and personal statements.

November Scholarship Opportunities:

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

- $5,000
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States' largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service.
Deadline: Nov 06 2018

NCWIT Award For Aspirations in Computing

- $500
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) honors women in grades 9 through 12 who are active and interested in computing and technology.
Deadline: Nov 12 2018

James Alan Cox Student Photography Scholarships

- $2,500
High school students applying for these scholarships must have completed one year at an accredited high school.
Deadline: Nov 15 2018

Elks Most Valuable Student Competition

- $50,000
The 2019 Most Valuable Student scholarship contest is open to any high school senior who is a US Citizen.
Deadline: Nov 15 2018

Real World Design Challenge Scholarships

- $50,000
The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual high school competition run by a public-private partnership.
Deadline: Nov 17 2018

Sixt Scholarship Program

- $5,000

Sixt rent a car is pleased to offer five high school seniors graduating in 2019 the opportunity to receive a $5,000 scholarship and become a Sixt scholar.
Deadline: Nov 30 2018


Randi Shrider | Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla | | 907.622.6631

Ryan Tilbury | Delta, Fairbanks, Juneau | | 907.374.9432

CTE Spotlight - Laika Latham

Laika recently attending the EXCEL Alaska Welding Camp.

Read below to see what she thought of her experience.

"Welding camp was an amazing experience. I loved being with kids from all over the state. We became friends and still talk. It was great to have a class in a small group setting and NIT has great instructors. They did a great job teaching the class. Welding was a lot of fun. I am better at stick welding than wire feed, but helped my mom with welding on our trailer last weekend with a MIG welder, so that was awesome! The welding camp was amazing and super educational. I am thankful that you have these opportunities for us to explore things we are interested in and that will help us in the future with jobs and just with life too, like welding. I was really tired at the end of the class because we worked really hard at it, but I still didn't want it to end."

Announcement from AkGrad:

How to be an Online Student

Many people say that not everyone can be an online student taking an online class. This is not true, like anything, taking an online course is a gained skill, and with practice you get better.

Tips for Being an Online Student:

  • Read the syllabus and complete the orientation. Most online courses provide an introduction and how to use the system. Learning to use the system will help you save time for completing coursework later.

  • Communicate Often: As soon as you need help, ask for it. Email, call or message your teacher. The sooner you get help, the more likely you will continue to move forward. Also check in weekly with your teacher, let them know where you are at and how you are doing.

  • Work Everyday: Spend at least 1 hour everyday on doing coursework. A little bit of work everyday adds up.

  • Be Engaged, Learn: Actually read, watch all the videos and take notes. Use study guides if offered, or make your own. Review your grades and feedback everyday. Make corrections right away on paper or by retaking quiz and resubmitting.

  • Get to know your classmates: When we learn together, we learn more. Participate in discussions, ask to do projects or labs with online classmates. Ask for an online study group, or make one. Or simply request to do some assignments with your teacher.

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Anchorage Office:

October Recap:

Our office is busy! Legos, junior legos, battle of the books, spanish, spelling bee, geography bee, and book club all continued this month. Deb Fancher hosted another amazing science workshop for the students which focused on dry ice and carbon dioxide. See the pictures below! Tasha Boin Photography visited the studio for school portraits and a lot of families took advantage of that which is great! We had a field trip to Alaska Wild Berry Products where students were able to tour the facility and sample chocolates and other goodies! I heard one student even go the eat the first chocolate snowman of the season! Terri hosted a STEM workshop which focused on programming and gaming. A lot of great things are happening here in the office so get involved if you aren’t already!

1st quarter progress reports and work samples were due October 31st! If you have not turned these in, please get them to our office ASAP.

Reminder, if you need to meet with your advisory teacher it is best to call and schedule an appointment!

Upcoming Dates/Events/Deadlines:

November 1st - Thursdays @ 3 Series: Author’s Studio

November 2nd - Field Trip: Black Violin

November 2nd - ARTiculate: Art in Motion + Machines

November 7th - PAC + SIA Meetings

November 7th - Battle of the Books

November 8th - Job Center Tour w/ Randi

November 13th-15th - Science Workshops: Spices

November 16th & 19th - Door Decorating

November 21st - Office Closes at 1:30pm

November 22nd-23rd - Office Closed

November 29th - Field Trip: AirPlay

November 30th - ARE Workshop: Oil Drilling

Staff Out of Office Dates:

Carmen out of office: November 2nd, 9th, 19th-23rd

Danae out of office: November 19th-23rd

Terri out of office: November 13th, 19th-23rd, 27th

Randi IN office: 11/8, 11/15

For more details about our events and to RSVP, please click on our SMORE below!

Delta Office:

Looking Back:

We have enjoyed visiting with our students during their Terrific Tuesday activities.

Please join us for some old fashion fun, no electronics.

Brightways training went well, thank you to our participating parents! If you need support with your quarter grades, please make an appointment with Heidi to be trained.

Raven students enjoyed a Fire House tour as part of Fire Prevention month. We enjoyed seeing all the cool equipment and learning about how to be safe. Thank you, Delta Volunteer Fire Dept.

Lego Leagues are moving along well, working hard to meet their challenges.

We have very photogenic students, so Lifetouch was here to take their picture. Thank you for participating in this opportunity.

Book fair: We appreciate our volunteers! We could not have had the fair without you. It was well attended.

Looking Forward:

We will have our Terrific Tuesdays and Lego meetings during November, please join us!

November 7th we have a Parent Advisory Committee meeting at 2:00. We provide snacks and an agenda. Our agenda covers decisions that must be made regarding our school and our activities. Please come to the office and share your ideas with us.

We are grateful to you for choosing Raven. We appreciate you being part of our Raven family, and wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving.

Eagle River Office:

October Recap:

There were so many activities, events and workshops in October that it was almost hard to keep up with! We have four Battle of the Books team this year, and team meetings and practices started in October. We started the month with a program wide PAC meeting, led by our Director and Assistant Principal. For our first field trip of the month, we toured Fire Station #11 and learned all about fire safety. Our Scholastic Book Fair was a huge success! Thank you for everyone that came out and picked new books to read! Deb Fancher was back in our office and taught a thrilling workshop about Carbon Dioxide Science! Students learned a lot and had a great time creating mini explosions in our office. The students who participate in Geography Club got to “travel” to Asia this month. They learned all about the population, landmarks, geography, culture and more! Steve hosted a Progress Report Workshop so new families could come in and learn all about the expectations for submitting progress reports and work samples. Mandy Mitchell taught several students a fun Harvest Pumpkin ARTiculate workshop. Everyone’s pumpkin creations turned out great! Maegan worked with Sylvan Learning Center to offer a free practice ACT test to a few high school students. Our last field trip of the month was a tour of the Chugiak-Eagle River library.

First quarter Progress Reports and Work Samples were due October 31st. If you haven’t already submitted them, please contact our office!

November Activities:

November 5th - Battle of the Books meeting (3/4, 5/6, 7/8)

November 6th - Battle of the Books meeting (K-2)

November 6th - PAC Meeting

November 7th - Job Center Tour in Anchorage

November 7th - Civil Air Patrol Demonstration/Workshop

November 8th - Field Trip: AK Rock Gym

November 12th - Battle of the Books meeting (5/6, 7/8)

November 13th - Battle of the Books meeting (K-2)

November 13th - ARTiculate: Dinosaur Textures

November 14th - Geography Club: North America

November 16th - Science Workshops: Science of Spices

November 20th - Office Closing at 12:30pm

November 21st-23rd - Office Closed

November 26th - Battle of the Books meeting (3/4)

November 27th - Battle of the Books meeting (K-2)

November 27th - Parent Workshop: Internet Safety

November 29th - Field Trip: “Air Play”

November 30th - Battle of the Books meeting (5/6, 7/8)

November 30th - “I Know I Can”

Office Closures:

We will be closing early on Tuesday, November 20th, at 12:30pm. We will also be closed November 21st-23rd.

Staff Schedules:

Steve will be out of office November 1st, 16th, and 19th-26th.

Randi will be out of office November 1st, 2nd, 12th, 16th, 19th-23rd. She will be working in the Anchorage office November 8th and 15th, and in the Wasilla office the afternoon of the 14th and all day on the 28th.

Maegan will be out of office November 2nd, and 20th-26th.

For more details about our events and to RSVP, please click on our SMORE below!

Fairbanks Office:

October Recap:

Raven Running Club:

The club is now meeting on Tuesdays at 1:30pm inside, upstairs, at the Big Dipper Ice Arena. We have families that run, jog and walk…whatever your speed, we hope you’ll join us anytime!

AK Grad Tutoring:

Not only do AK Grad Teachers, Nicholas Graves and Christina Hum, offer in-person tutoring every Thursday from 2:00-4:00pm at your local Fairbanks Raven Homeschool office, but did you know…for those not in Fairbanks, you can schedule an online tutoring sessions here:

LEGO Leagues:

Lego League Junior is learning about the moon and what it would be like to visit. They built a Lego rocket and thought about what they would take with them on their trip to the moon.

First Lego League has been busy building their Lego structures so they can begin programming their robot for the robot challenge. They have also been researching the physical and social problems that affect astronauts who travel into deep space.

Art Classes:

During October, the middle/high school class was focusing on color theory and painting skills. Students discovered and practiced shading in watercolors, and created blended color wheels in acrylic.

The younger students studied color theory, and worked on creating quilt squares made up of difference aspects of self-portrait.

The Great Alaska Bowl Company Field Trip:

What a nice turnout! There were about 25 Raven Homeschool parents, students and teachers who attended the guided tour at their facility. The participants learned about using the wood lathe to spin and carve the bowls, wood burning engravings and how to care for their finished products.

Office Closures:

November 21st: Office Hours - 8:00am- 1:30pm

November 22nd & 23rd: Office will be closed for the Holiday

November Staff Schedules:

Natasha Anderson: 8:00am – 4:30pm Monday - Friday

Chuck Backe: Out of Office on Monday’s & November 19th-23rd

Jessica Desrochers: 8:00am – 4:30pm Monday - Friday

Tami Rump: 8:00am – 4:30pm Monday - Friday

Ryan Tilbury: At Raven Delta Office November 27th

Cathy Walker: Out of Office on Friday’s & November 19th-23rd

For more details about our events and to RSVP, please click on our SMORE below!

Juneau Office:

October in Review

October brought on fall in full force. Theresa and Joan finished off their Building Blocks of Reading Workshop Series by talking about vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension with practical tools for application in the homeschool setting. Our JrFLL teams continued to meet weekly to work on the Mission Moon challenge, Spanish Club worked on action words at this month’s activity, and Chess Club had students thinking hard about the best moves to make. Our PAC meeting this month was program-wide, so we got to connect with all of the other offices to talk about topics affecting everyone. A definite highlight for October was the Enchanted Forest Book Fair where we sold 420 books and earned a lot of new books for our office library plus $883 cash to put into our student activities fund for more fun activities this school year. Another October favorite is the Salmon Education Program that DIPAC does, and the families who attended even got to do some brand new activities this year. Theresa led a STEAM activity which ended up having only girls in attendance and they had a lot of fun with each of the activity stations they did together. As usual, the police station tour had great attendance and the kids loved getting to see what the officers do there. The final hurrah this month was the Fall Costume and Craft Party. One could definitely say that there was never a dull moment in October!

November Important Dates

November 1st-30th - Healthy Futures Fall Challenge

November 6th - Office Closed in the morning for Staff ALICE training

November 6th - Digital Animation/Drawing Club for 6th-12th grades

November 7th - PAC Meeting & Student Activity

November 8th - JrFLL

November 13th - “I Know I Can” Activity for 1st-3rd grades

November 13th - Digital Animation/Drawing Club for 6th-12th grades

November 14th - Elementary Spanish Club: Alimentos

November 15th - JrFLL

November 19th - Turkey in Disguise Drop Off Day

November 20th - Digital Animation/Drawing Club for 6th-12th grades

November 21st - Office Closes early at 1:30pm

November 22nd-23rd - Office Closed for Thanksgiving

November 26th - Scholastic Book Club Nov Orders Due

November 26th - Chess Club

November 27th - Digital Animation/Drawing Club for 6th-12th grades

November 28th - Yearbook Kickoff Meeting

November 29th - JrFLL

November 30th - November Healthy Futures Logs Due

TBD - Fire Station Tour

Staff Schedules:

Theresa Off – Nov. 19th-23rd, 28th-30th

Joan Off – Nov. 2nd, 9th, 19th-23rd, 30th

Office Closures:

November 6th from 8-11:30am

November 21st from 1:30-4:30pm

November 22nd-23rd all day

For more details about our events and to RSVP, please click on our SMORE below!

Wasilla Office:

October in a Nutshell

October in the Valley has been unexpectedly mild and beautiful! Our two Battle of the Books teams are digging in- reading, learning titles and authors, and working on getting details down for the books. They seem to be enjoying themselves, as they eagerly hurry back to Joy’s office! Our two Rocket Readers groups made great progress in their reading and spelling skills as they worked with Kim. They are anticipating the Spring session already! Mr. Bergey taught about bees and honey, with students doing hands-on activities and having fun. Families participated in a two days of learning about local homesteading farms, farming today, and harvesting a variety of local, organic vegetables. We had high school students take a practice SAT and ACT test in preparation of taking the real deal later this year. Students visited a local hair salon, learning about the business- what it takes to become a hairdresser and how to care for your hair. We also visited our Central Fire Station and learning what to do if caught in a fire. Our office participated in Red Ribbon Week, a campaign to remain and pledge to be drug free. The Wasilla Raven 4H club also kicked off the new year with guest speaker, Lee Hecimovich.

November Activities:

Annual Tom Turkey Contest- Details to Come

November 6th - Battle of the Books meeting 3rd /4th

November 6th - PAC Meeting

November7th - Battle of the Books meeting Middle School

November 9th - Pioneer Home Visit

November 10th - Decorate an Ornament at Michael's Craft Store

November 13th - Battle of the Books meeting 3rd/4th

November 14th - Battle of the Books meeting Middle School

November 14th - Counselor Randi in Office

November14th - High School Field Trip: Job Center

November 14th- Culinary Bake Off- Pies

November 20th - Office Closing at 12:30pm

November 21st-23rd - Office Closed

November 27th - Battle of the Books meeting 3rd/4th

November 28th - Battle of the Books meeting Middle School

November 28th - Counselor Randi in Office

November 28th - Workshop: 5 Paragraph Essay

November 30th - Art Cafe (project TBD)

House of Bread Tour - TBD

Denali Gymnastics - TBD

Office Closures:

We will be closing early on Tuesday, November 20th, at 12:30pm. We will also be closed November 21st-23rd.

Staff Schedules:

All teachers are off 11/19-11/23

Cynthia off: November 5th, 12th

Joy off: November 2nd, 9th, 16th

Ruth off: November 1st, 2nd

For more details about our events and to RSVP, please click on our SMORE below!

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